BEIRUT

Middle East

Obama: Syria peace talks far from achieving goal

US President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande (R) during a greeting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/ ALAIN JOCARD)

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama says peace talks to end Syria's civil war are far from achieving their goal of halting violence and facilitating a political transition.

Obama says the situation on the ground in Syria is horrendous. He says the state of Syria is crumbling and it's bad for global security.

Obama says there's enormous frustration. But he says not to discount the fact that for the first time recently, Syria's government and opposition rebels sat in the same room together during peace talks.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande. The United States and France have been working to end the war in Syria, a former French colony. But peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces have gained little traction.

 

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